Oprah Winfrey tearfully recounts traumatic childhood moment on The Dr Oz Show

TV host told story about grandfather’s abuse for the first time

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 28 April 2021 16:40
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey has detailed a traumatic moment from her childhood for the first time.

Ahead of Winfrey’s appearance on The Dr Oz Show later this week, ET has released a clip of the TV host speaking about a memory that is linked to her feeling unsafe while sleeping.

“My grandmother and I slept in the bed together,” she said. “My grandfather was in a room on the other side of the wall and one night in the middle of the night, my grandfather gets out of bed and comes into the room. And I wake up and he has his hands around my grandmother’s neck and she is screaming.”

Winfrey explained that her grandmother managed to “push him off of her” and ran to get help from a blind neighbour called Henry.

“Henry comes down the road in the middle of the night to help my grandmother get my grandfather up off the floor,” she continued.

“And after that my grandmother put a chair underneath the doorknob and some tin cans around the chair. And that is how we slept every night. I’m sleeping, I’ve always slept with, listening for the cans. Listening for what happens if that doorknob moves.”

Winfrey’s new book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing, is written in collaboration with neuroscientist Dr Bruce Perry.

Anyone who requires help or support can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline which is open 24/7 365 days per year on 0808 2000 247 or via their website www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/